Possessed By A Ghost
A Halloween Night That Led To Life Long Haunting
We drove up the snowy, winding road towards the cozy A-frame cabin.
It was pretty dark already. Riley had wanted to wait until all the trick-or-treaters were done before leaving for the weekend getaway. She had told me in that no-nonsense tone, 'Tina - We loved Halloween as kids, and there is no way we are leaving before every last candy has gone.'
So, I was, driving in snow through the winding roads with just car headlights towards our weekend getaway in Hocking Hills. It was uncannily cold for October in Ohio. We dressed for the Arctic and had toe warmers while handing out candy. And on top of that, we took turns going back inside the house and thawing.
We were leaving for different colleges the following year. Halloween was special to us, and we wanted to spend our last Halloween together. We met at Halloween when we were dressed as Wednesday from the Addams family, and nobody else seemed to think that was cool. Our eyes met, and we knew we shared the love of morbid. And since that day, they have been inseparable. But I was going to Oxford, London, and Riley was going to MIT, Boston for college, so we wanted our last Halloween to be remarkable.
It had been Riley's idea to book a cottage through Airbnb in Hocking hills and spend the weekend watching horror movies and chilling out in the hot tub.
'I hope this trip is better than our Washington trip, Riley.'
She brushed her blond bangs from her eyes and said, 'It wasn't my fault that I confused Washington state with Washington DC.'
I laughed and said, 'Yes, that is completely understandable. But how did you miss the notification that the flight was leaving an hour early?'
She poked me on the side and said, 'I read the text but assumed it was an hour's delay. Honestly, when does a flight ever leave early.'
I rolled my eyes - we complemented each other quite well. I was the planner; she was going with the flow type. She was not afraid of anything, and I jumped if the doorbell rang. I liked English literature, and she was into data science. We even looked like chalk and cheese. I was a typical child of Indian immigrants - black curly hair, brown eyes, mocha complexion and slight build. Riley played soccer and had straight blond hair, blue eyes and creamy skin. What we both shared was a sense of humour and loyalty. I might be a scary cat, but my claws would be out if something threatened Riley. We were each other best friends through and through.
It was snowing heavily when we arrived at the parking lot. There were at least four inches of snow on the ground. And it was windy in the hills. I could see lights on other cabins; looks like they were having a party with that noise. That made me feel better as the noise meant we weren't the only ones in this isolated part of the hills. We took our suitcases and trudged through the snow to our cottage, No 13 - Spooky Haven, an apt name for our weekend getaway.
'Riley - what is the passcode for the lock?'
I could see her breath misting in the cold as she replied, 'Cottage number and the Last four digits of your phone number.'
I typed in '139851' and heard the satisfying creak of the lock opening. We rushed inside and shut the door. It was a cozy cottage with a living room and kitchen on the first floor. There were stairs leading to the loft bedroom.
'Did you book this with a super host?' I asked Riley.
She shrugged her shoulders which could mean anything. I looked at the fire glowing in the fireplace and the throws on the reclining sofas. All signs that somebody had taken great care of our arrival. There was even hot chocolate in a thermos on the table. Although it was a little spooky, they probably changed the decor for the season's theme. Spider webs were hanging from the stairs, and a skeleton was standing next to the fridge. Bats were sticking on the wall above the fireplace. I opened the restroom to see a message on the mirror - 'Don't forget the fangs.' The hosts were definitely big Halloween fans.
Riley whistled and said, 'Well, all we need now is a vampire walking in from the front door.'
'I hope not,' I replied.
We changed into our jammies, poured ourselves from steaming hot chocolate, popped some popcorn in the microwave and settled on the couch with a throw. We turned the lights off and settled in to watch our movies, starting with Addams Family.
We watched a Bollywood horror movie - Bhoot (meaning Ghost). It wasn't particularly creepy, but the sound effects were killer. We were about to watch the scariest scene when Riley announced she had to go to the restroom. I wrapped the blanket around me and went to the kitchen to make some tea.
After three of these movies, my hair was up at the back of my neck, and I could feel goosebumps. It felt as if somebody was watching me all the time or standing at my shoulder. And the minute I turned around to look at them, they would vanish. And Riley scaring me with her noises and comments did not help either.
That's when I heard the door creak. I assumed it was Riley playing a trick on me, so I hid under the counter. And then I watched a pair of pointed boots walk towards the couch - grunt, something muffled as if they were speaking another language. I was petrified now. My mind was telling me that it wasn't possible - ghosts or vampires do not exist, but my heart was pounding so loud that I could not hear anything. The boots walked around with the cape swishing behind them. It was cold, but I was sweating under the blanket. My palms were sweaty. The whoosh of the kettle sounded like a banshee. The wind outside rattled the windows in the kitchen. The cup in my hand was trembling. As the boots turned and walked towards me, I closed my eyes. I could smell the dampness from the creature coming closer and closer.
When I felt the long bony fingers on my shoulder - I screamed. I did what came to my mind - I threw the hot water on the ghost. The ghost cowered down. I threw my blanket, jumped on it and sat on it, pummelling it with my fists.
'Why are you screaming?' was the first thing Riley asked me as she walked into the kitchen.
'A ggggghost…', I stammered in fear.
Instead of helping me subdue the ghost, making muffled noises - she stood there and said, 'Well, if that is a ghost, then why doesn't it just disappear.'
Before I could think of an answer - the ghost screamed, 'I am not a ghost.'
BEGINNING OF THE HAUNTING
A couple of things happened at the same time. I stood up in fright, and Riley turned on the lights.
I was looking at a tall young man dressed as a ghost, aka vampire - with fangs, slicked-back hair, and a cape. He looked quite dreadful despite his vampire makeup. The hot water from the kettle and blanket hadn't done him any service. Riley, to my frustration, was enjoying the scene.
The vampire wrung the water from his cape, looked at me, and said, 'What are you doing here in my cottage?'
'This is our cottage. We booked it on Airbnb,' I replied.
I saw Riley dive for her phone.
One of the vampire's fangs was hanging down his chin, giving him a comical look. He pointed his finger at me and said, 'I booked this cottage for a cabin. My friends were having a Halloween party two cabins away. I come back to see my home occupied by intruders. I walked to the kitchen when you jumped on me..'
'Well, if this is your cabin, why did the door open for us?' I cut him short. Riley was pulling my sleeves. I ignored her and told the vampire, 'What do you have to say to that? You probably are a random psycho who likes to walk into unsuspecting public and scare the wits of them.' Riley tried to get my attention, but I was on a roll. I walked up to the vampire and poked him in the chest.
'You walk into our cottage and have the guts to tell us that we are the intruders. What gall?'
Riley finally said, 'Actually, we are the intruders. You both must have the same last four digits in your cell number. We were in Cottage 03 and not 13.'
I crossed my arms and said, 'See, there you go…we were supposed to be in 03 and not 13. But we are in 13..' And then it dawned on me what Riley had just said.
I glared at Riley and told the vampire, 'Sorry.'
And right then, Riley decided that the whole situation was funny and started laughing. The vampire joined in, and I laughed more in relief than joy.
'Well, that's how I met your father.' I told my twin boys, who were tucked into the beds with Halloween candy buckets next to them. I met a ghost on Halloween who haunts me even today.
About the Creator
My vision in life is to be a Better Version Of Myself Every Day. And my purpose in life is ‘Learn, Grow, Inspire and Contribute’.
Everything that I do ties into this vision - including my writing. Check out anumorris.com for more info!
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